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A more accessible Clinton stops for tacos

January 11, 2008 | 11:49 pm

Over the last week we've listened to her. And in the process we found her voice, not to mention Hillary Clinton's new ad that centers on those carefully crafted lines of humility from her victory speech in New Hampshire.

Clinton is releasing a new ad in the morning in Nevada and South Carolina. You can hear it here, but you've already heard it all many times already. Her talking during that joyous speech laid over lots of shots of a smiling female candidate with lots of real people. No more of this all-alone wonky woman wrapping Christmas presents of new government programs to give to the common citizens of America.

Of course, the Republican National Committee had something ...

to say too: “When you’ll say anything to get elected, you’re always searching for a new voice," said spokesman Alex Conant. "Voters don’t trust Sen. Clinton precisely because her rhetoric is always changing."

A re-energized Clinton, who's suddenly making herself more accessible to real people and actual reporters, flashed through the Southland today, releasing an economic program in the City of Commerce and stopping at King Tacos in East L.A. "Hey man," said Giovanni Zavalza, a tattoo artist, "I've just came over for a few tacos, and next thing I know, I'm looking at Hillary Clinton."

She did a fundraiser in San Diego and later, reportedly, met privately with some of her major L.A. contributors to calm their concerns about last week's campaign tailspin. Saturday, she'll invest in chasing Nevada's Hispanic vote, first in Las Vegas with Henry Cisneros, and then at a Mexican restaurant in Reno, though she didn't get Nevada's big SEIU union endorsement that went to Barack Obama. Saturday night will be spent flying to South Carolina for some Sunday events, including her turn in a full-hour of waterboarding by Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press." A quick trip home to New York and back west again.

The Democrats' attention is shifting West now for a while beginning with Tuesday's MSNBC debate in Las Vegas and the Jan. 19 caucuses. And, as first reported here, Obama is the first Democrat to start his ad campaign in California, also on Saturday.

So enough with the wintry campaigns of Iowa and New Hampshire. Here they come.

-- Andrew Malcolm